This is part II of a three part series, Part I can be found here and part three will be published in the next few days
Wednesday morning in the meeting hall, I was greeted by a room full of college staff and twenty-somethings. After a quick look around I grabbed a seat beside the only person in the room that I could see looked even remotely close to my age.
Induction began and I realised 3 things, that I’ve since learnt are all true…
- These people aren’t all on my course.
- Some of my lecturers could be younger than me.
- I’m probably going to be the oldest on my course.
After a while we were divided into groups by our courses and sent off trailing our course tutor, through the building and straight into a kitchen.
Thankfully we weren’t being chucked in the deep end too quickly, it was just an introduction to the room and to the course, what we could expect, what not to do and so on and so forth. Finally off we trundled to our first of two proper classes that day – Computer applications. Grand, some familiar territory to get things started with!
Next up, was French, very unfamiliar territory for me and thankfully about half of the rest of the group. Still, I’m already so far out of my comfort zone, at this point, it’s a wonder my brain hasn’t packed it’s little suitcase and made a dash for it out my nose leaving nothing but a “so long and thanks for all the fish” sign in it’s place and the thoughts of having to start learning a language, something I’ve never been great with, really weren’t helping.
Thankfully, Thursday’s classes, Communications, Tourism Awareness and Nutrition got me back into my comfort zone and set me up nicely for an afternoon of running around Dublin City centre, purchasing books, knives, chef’s uniform and other assorted bits ‘n’ pieces so I could actually take part in Friday’s four hour cookery practical session. But I’m getting ahead of myself here, let’s rewind to Thursday night.
A few weeks back Elly spotted a very reasonably priced knife skills course in Donnybrook Fair and I decided that I would like to do it, not for a minute thinking that I would be starting a hotel and catering course the same week. So after spending the afternoon shopping in Dublin and grabbing a bus home, I promptly dropped everything once in the door, drank two pints of water in quick succession, had a pee and ran out the back door, jumped in the car and headed to Donnybrook, thanks to lousy parking facilities I ended up walking about a kilometre to get to the class and being about ten minutes late, not a great start.
After making my apologies to both chef and class I grabbed a seat and realised that I hasn’t missed much past “this is a knife”
The class was great, starting off with how to use a steel to sharpen your knives, moving through some vegetable preparations, filleting a fish and even removing the carcass from a chicken, so you can pack more stuffing and flavour in. Given how good Elly’s Roast Chicken is and how much work is involved I don’t see myself doing that too often at home but it could be a handy skill to have for college and sure a little extra practice ain’t going to hurt.